Salary Guide: 3 Ways to Check You’re Getting Paid Fairly

What is your work really worth? It can be hard to work out on your own whether you’re being paid fairly, especially if you’re trying to compare an hourly wage against an annual salary. So we’ve put together a list of top ways to check if your salary is fair.

It’s often hard to know if you’re being paid fairly. Job advertisements don’t usually come with exact salary figures. And most wage negotiations are held behind closed office doors. So where to start to figure out if you’re earning your true worth? We’ve scoured the job-hunting world for some valuable information on how to find out if you’re being paid fairly.

Top 3 ways to check your salary is fair

1. Minimum entitlements by law

When you’re working as an employee, the most important thing to know is what you’re entitled to by law.

There are three types of minimum wage – adult, starting-out and training. The adult minimum wage is $18.90 an hour before tax if you’re 16 years or older.

Adult minimum wage rate

The adult minimum wage rate for employees aged 16 years or older in NZ:

  • $18.90 an hour before tax
  • $756 before tax for a 40-hour week.

Starting-out minimum wage

The minimum wage rate for starting-out workers is:

  • $15.12 an hour before tax
  • $604.80 before tax for a 40-hour week.

Training minimum wage

The minimum wage rate for training workers is:

  • $15.12 an hour before tax
  • $604.80 before tax for a 40-hour week.

Not that from April 1, 2021, the adult minimum wage will increase, from $18.90 to $20.00 per hour. The starting-out and training minimum wage rates will also increase, from $15.12 to $16.00 per hour.

Knowing whether or not you’re in a high-demand role can also give you more bargaining power around your salary. Check Immigration New Zealand’s list of skills that are currently in hot demand to discover if you’re in a high-demand role.

2. Online salary checkers

compare the travel money card market

PayScale has the world’s largest database of salaries. Their fastest and easiest tools are the Pay Calculator for New Zealand, which gives a quick set of low-to-high salary numbers, and the average pay finder tool for your job across the country.

You can also request a free personal report about your position. You have to fill in a pretty full-on survey for the report, but it’s worth it. Their comparison tool shows where you sit within the industry and what percentage of people in your job are being paid more or less than you.

Trade Me’s salary guide is simple: a list of occupations with a range of salaries and the midpoint (median) salary you can expect.

3. Salary guide reports

Downloadable salary guide reports (usually in PDF form) may not seem as useful as a search function that gives you a salary figure to compare straight away – but they are actually priceless. These reports contain stacks of info around industry trends, way beyond the mere dollar figures.

If you want to know why salaries are growing quickly – or not growing – or what employers are looking for when giving out pay rises, a salary guide report is a good place to look.

Reports are typically useful if you’re in a relatively standard job. But don’t expect them to cover sectors such as the creative industries very thoroughly, sorry.

A Hays salary guide is available for many different industries, with a comparison across New Zealand and Australia.

The Hudson salary guides are comprehensive and available in downloadable PDF form. They provide individual salary guides for each industry, comparing salaries in multiple different cities in New Zealand.

Why employees need to know what they’re worth

How much you get paid can make a huge difference to how much you have in KiwiSaver or superannuation when you retire. It’s always a bit stressful talking with your employer about how much money they pay you, but Future You will thank you.

At least we’ve taken the stress out of looking for a good value account to save for your future. Compare KiwiSaver funds on our website, today, to see how your fund is performing.

Working on project

We’ve also written a guide on how to check your KiwiSaver balance, so you can ensure that your personal contributions and employer contributions have been added to your KiwiSaver account.

Compare KiwiSaver funds with Canstar

The lessons for employers

For its 2018-19 salary guide, global specialist recruiting group Hays surveyed more than 3000 organisations across Australia and New Zealand, representing more than 2.3 million employees. Hays surveyed organisations on salary policy, hiring intentions and recruitment trends.

Interestingly, while many employees surveyed said they expected to ask for a pay rise over the 2018/19 year, the survey showed their work satisfaction was not just tied to dollars in the bank.

While 72% of employees said they planned or considered to ask for a pay rise – and 75% expected they would get one – three quarters of employees hoped for a work benefit not connected to pay.

Of those surveyed, 73% said flexible work practices were an important benefit they’d look for in a new job.

This suggests, while pay rises are front of mind, employees could gain from offering additional work incentives.

The bottom line for employers

In order to keep your employees happily engaged, communicate openly with them about how you are paying them compared to the market. It’s free to do some market research and have a conversation with your staff, and the results of keeping your best employees are priceless.

Also, make sure you’re aware of your obligations when it comes to paying KiwiSaver. If an employee is enrolled in KiwiSaver, then it’s compulsory to make a minimum contribution of 3% of the employee’s base salary. You can read more on employer’s obligation with KiwiSaver, here.

Compare KiwiSaver funds with Canstar

Similar Topics:

Share this article